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Local News

August 22, 2013

Driver guilty in OUI crash

Salem man faces up to five years in prison

SALEM — A Salem man who collided with and then pushed a Volkswagen Beetle sideways more than 150 yards down Route 128 south in Lynnfield last year was found guilty yesterday of drunken driving.

But Charles E. Snow III, 53, will now have a chance to dispute whether it’s his seventh drunken-driving conviction. He’s asked for a trial, where prosecutors will have to provide evidence of his previous convictions in Massachusetts, dating to 1977, before a judge sentences him to up to five years in state prison.

That trial and sentencing are scheduled for Sept. 18. Judge Timothy Feeley revoked Snow’s bail in the case and ordered that he be held without bail at Middleton Jail pending sentencing. It took the jury about four hours to conclude that Snow was drunk at the wheel of a 1989 Ford F-350 truck equipped with a plow mount on the afternoon of May 27, 2012, Memorial Day weekend.

Lynn teacher Bessie Broufas testified that she was in the first lane, about to take Exit 43 toward Lynnfield, when she felt her car being struck and then realized, in horror, that she was being pushed down the interstate by Snow’s truck. Her car had become attached to the plow mount, and a large metal hook came to rest just inches from her head.

Broufas, who was taken to the hospital covered in cuts and broken glass, testified that she feared for her life and that of her teenage daughter. “I didn’t think we were going to survive,” she told jurors on Monday.

Snow, who also took the stand, blamed Broufas for the collision, claiming “her car flew in front of me.”

William Martin, a public defender who represented the indigent Snow, tried to convince jurors in his closing argument that his client was the victim of “jaded” law enforcement officers who “jumped to conclusions” about the poorly dressed and inarticulate Snow, a house painter who had been working on a ladder all morning.

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